I love NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month aka NaNo). I came across it a couple of years ago before it started, but then missed it by a couple of months so wasn’t able to join in. Then last year I missed it by a month so wasn’t able to join in again, but this year I remembered just before it, lucky!
So this is my first year participating and I have to say it is a fantastic motivator. Usually I only make it to the 5,000-10,000 word mark on average and that’s because of several reasons. The motivation is there, but I am not thinking long haul. I get carried away and mostly burn out before I even really begin. Add on to that illness problems and that just makes me lose the desire to keep writing at some point. Before the illness I was a sporadic writer and had a lot of bouts of writer’s block, but when I was writing I was able to go for hours and days if I wanted to. When I had insomnia the only good thing about that was staying up all night writing.
That and the big problem; perfectionism. I have quite a problem with it that I can get carried away with the minute details for some time. It’s actually really bad and isn’t just in my writing (you should see how long I can take when it comes to doing my girlfriend’s hair and putting it into a simple ponytail). The point I know that I’m stuffed when it comes to perfectionism is when I get stuck on a word and want to read through the dictionary and thesaurus. I don’t feel the sentence is right because of a word so have to fix it before I can move on. Might not sound like a problem, but do I get carried away with reading through the dictionary!
I found with NaNo that it motivated me because I don’t like failure, and it set out an actual timeline. I’ve also learnt to pace myself so avoid burnout and with no obsessive editing I actually get somewhere! The motivation to finish and not fall behind is far greater then my obsession with editing or that is what I have learnt, but I am a bit worried that I have relied too heavily on NaNo to get me going and I will lose that motivation after it. I haven’t finished. After a few missed days from being sick, I reached 50,000 words on the 23rd and my novel only feels half done so I am still writing.
As for how it went? I made the deadline almost a week before it finished and that was something I was not expecting. I missed some days because I couldn’t get out of bed and because I wasn’t near the computer, but I pushed myself while pacing at the same time and made it.
It’s been interesting because I’ve had frustrating days, questioning days, exultant days, and far out is writing an emotional roller coaster. I was expecting that though, but in the past I was taking days away to do research or draw up maps, whereas this time it was writing every day.
So now I’m having a break because my body hates me at the moment and doesn’t want me to get out of bed. I was going to continue writing from Monday, but I have no idea if I’m up to it.
When my body likes me again I’ll be writing again, but not every day this time because even though I loved NaNo, every day is too much for me. I’m going to stick to a set amount for 5 days a week.
I was also going to join in on Script Frenzy next year because I used to love writing those, but I figure I should probably focus on the novel instead of starting a hobby. There’s several other projects going on including a NaNo style one in June for the Southern Hemisphere called Southern Cross Novel Challenge, but I think I’m only going to do National Novel Writing Month. I’m pretty sure I can finish my novel by then even with Christmas and a heap of birthdays coming. If you want to see what other projects are going on you can do so here.
As for my story? I don’t know if I’m ready to share the plot just yet. Let me think on that and maybe I’ll post it when I start writing again.
Congratulations to everyone who made the goal and congratulations for those who made an effort even if you didn’t because really making such a commitment and sticking with it, regardless of making the goal they have picked, is still something to be proud of.